In the midst of darkness, light persists. – Mahatma Gandhi
Growing up in Montréal, Diwali always lacked the fanfare of Diwali celebrations taking place in India or elsewhere around the world. But still, we celebrated by lighting small clay lamps around the house and, of course, with homemade sweets. Today’s recipe is for my not-so-sweet nan khatai. Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the most popular festivals of Hinduism. It “spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair” [Wikipedia]. The main festival night of Diwali coincides with the New Moon night of the month, Kartika, of the Hindu calendar. In the Gujarati calendar, it also falls on the last day of the year, with the next day being the start of a new year. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali night falls between mid-October and mid-November.
Nan Khatai, the Indian Shortbread
- 70 g ghee, softened
- 65 g unrefined cane sugar
- 75 g white whole wheat flour
- 65 g chickpea flour (besan)
- 15 g semolina (sooji), fine
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp finely crushed cardamom
- 52-55 g milk, plus extra for brushing onto the cookies
- about 10-12 almonds, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix ghee and sugar and set aside.
- In another bowl, mix the whole wheat flour, chickpea flour, semolina, baking powder and cardamom
- Add the dry mixture to the ghee-sugar mixture, mix to combine.
- Add the milk, 1 tbsp at a time and mix with your hands until a soft dough is formed. Use only as much as required to make a soft dough that does not crumble apart.
- Divide into 24 portions. Roll each between your palms into a ball, place on a cookie sheet and slightly flatten.
- Brush each cookie with milk and sprinkle with almonds.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a rack.
30 thoughts on “nan khatai, the indian shortbread”
Your photos are so beautiful, these look delicious!
Thank you so much!
They look so beautiful, Annika. I’m a big fan of sweet treats that aren’t too sweet! And anything flavoured with cardamom gets a big tick from me. Gorgeous x
Thank you dear… keep in mind that the taste of the chickpea flour will come through despite the cardamom.
I am so in love with the light of your pics… and i love reading about Indian traditions so thank you for sharing. x
Thank you so much lovely! xx
These are some incredible photos! 🙂
These look so good Annika and they make me nostaglic. I haven’t made them using chickpea flour. Gonna try it. The pics are gorgeous as always 🙂
Ah, lovely! One of the few Indian sweets I like! Your photos are exceptional!
I always have it and this is good recipe. Thanks for sharing
Thank you. I’m glad that you like it!
What a great recipe, now I have to try it!
Thank you… hope you get a chance to try it!
Love the dark & moody photos. They really highlight the cookies which sound so delish.
Thank you dear!
Gorgeous photos! These cookies must be delicious!
Thank you dear. They are!
These cookies look and sound wonderful Annika. Happy Diwali to you and your family xx
Thank you dear!
The colours in your pictures are gorgeous, Annika! Are those flowers from your yard? Happy Diwali!
Thank you! Yes, they are but these photos were taken in the spring when these flowers were in bloom. I don’t share my everyday here on the blog… but up on Instagram I mentioned that I’ve been sick lately so I resorted to using these old photos (which I had never gotten around to posting) for my Diwali post!
The weather has been fluctuating like crazy. Lots of people have been getting sick as of late, but hopefully you’re feeling better.
Happy Diwali, they are delicious n crunchy
Happy Diwali in advance, Annika. Those nan khatais sure look munch-some. And btw cardamom and ghee (along with coconut) are clearly favourites at this time of the year 🙂
Thank you and Happy Diwali to you too! Yes, those ingredients are my fav as well!
Lovely Annika and I agree with the first comment – love the addition of cardamom 😄
Beautiful and I absolutely love cardamom in cookies.